tv Your Business MSNBC May 14, 2016 2:30am-3:01am PDT
good morning. coming up next on msnbc's "your business," looking for office space? we walk you through the process and go with what you need to know before signing that lease. los angeles-based poceto turns their retail shop into an events based destination to get more customers. plus, what you need to do to be a super boss. up your prul game with us, that's next on "your business." american express open can help you take on a new job or fill a big order. or expand your office. for those who constantly find
new ways to grow on every step of the journey, american express open proudly presents "your business" on msnbc. hi there, everyone. i'm jj ramberg and welcome to "your business." the show dedicated to helping your small business grow. there's been one process in running my company that i find not very fun at all. and that is looking for office space. once you get a great space, of course it's fantastic, but the road there can be, to say the least, a bit of a headache. today we will try and make it easier for you by preparing you with the questions to ask and the issues you need to think about before signing on the dotted line. here's a primer on the best practices for renting an office, whether it's your first lease or your tenth.
>> it's a rainy day in new york city. not the best weather to go out looking at office space, but as entrepreneurs, we're used to dealing with much worse than a little rain. i've gone through the process of renting an office, a few times, and believe me, i know it can be daunting. hi, there. >> jj, how are you doing? we asked jonathan wasserstroh, the ceo and founder of tech start up the square foot to give us an overview on how to approach the process of renting a office space. >> welcome to our headquarters. >> jonathan took us 0 a day-long tour and giving us a sense of what you get for your money and what questions to ask when looking at spaces, because, he said, no matter,
what, there are going to be tradeoffs. when you walk in, is the lobby good? are the bathrooms clean? and how many elevators are there, and connectivity is also very important, and you want to make sure there are enough providers of internet and telecom. >> in real estate, there's a negotiation. how much are you paying per square foot, and how long is the lease for? what kind of improvements will the landlord pay for? >> it depends on the specific market and who has power in the market at the time based on supply and demand, essentially and how long of a lease you sign. >> if you come and say i want the space for ten years, the landlord will do a lot within reason, and if you are pushing for three years, you will have to put in more money. >> yonl jonathan planned our y day. >> no right or wrong, but different spaces make more sense
for different groups. >> we started at a boutique and fashion brand, and this is what he would consider a good option. >> a beautiful building. >> yes, we've done a few deals in this building. clients love it. the same lobby look and feel, the space, same look and feel that you see in sojo. but because we're in the garment district, it's about 20 less a square foot. >> for this company, that didn't matter. they wanted to be in this area. >> they want to be in the garment district because they want to be around the same type of companies they deal with all the time. >> they didn't have to do much. >> the landlord obviously polishes the floor and paints the wall. it's turnkey. >> being turnkey makes this rental a simple one. jonathan felt comfortable putting his klein the in this building because he knew it well, something he suggests
business owners try to do before signing on the dotted line. >> we've been in places before where there was an active tenant still in the space and been with a klein the and said how do you like it? everything is great except for these three things which are actually horrible, so we have those conversations. >> next, we go to tribeca to a health and welling in media company. their price per square foot is more expensive because it's a trendier area of town. when they were looking for space, this company had very specific requirements. what must haves did this company come to you with? >> for greatest, one of the things they needed was a kitchen this space checked that box with flying colors. they cover a lot of food stuff and best recipes, all that stuff. they like to be able to cook within their space. >> got it. but this must have been hard to find. most offices don't have a kitchen like this, a full kitchen. >> it was hard to find. but it makes it easy once you find it.
>> they were clear on what poz important. they decided they were willing to pay a little extra to be in a desirable neighborhood and get the kitchen but they didn't want to spend money on changing the layout. even though they're growing fast, the setup works for them, at least for now. >> how many square feet do you think i need per person? >> depends on the type of business you have. this is -- we have about 4,500 square feet and we can fit up to 42, 43 people. that's what we call start-up comfortable. as you go up to a law firm, you're looking at several hundred square feet a person. it depends on the type of business and the layout you have, 125, 150 square feet a person is a good, comfortable estimate. >> the trickiest part of renting a space for a fast-growing company is predicting how much space they'll need in the future. >> there's a couple ways we deal with that. our space, for instance, we share space with one of our investors and we've helped other groups do that and there's a couple other companies like pivot desk who specialize in the
matching process. that's one way to get around the growth issues. realize in the going out months you'll pay more per desk space, then it will be inverse when you get to be like sardines. >> we visited the offices of john ballet's company not standard, a suit company that's growing rapidly. >> good to meet you. jj ramberg. >> the company started with this one office. when they ran out of space, they annexed an office next door, then another down the hall. far from ideal. the space was just no longer working. >> as i look around this room here and i look at your sales area, in the other room, it's tight. >> it's really tight. >> was there a point where your employees were starting to grumble a little bit and say, you know, john, we need space? >> i think that point was a year ago. >> they found a great new space
nearby and they're getting ready to move but the staggered leases on their current offices makes it all a little complicated. >> is your lease up? >> so because we have three different offices there's three different lease terms. you have the option of subleasing, surrendering or giving away offices one at a time. when you surrender, the landlord takes it back. there's a mixture of fines and penalties but it clears the liability off your books and you move into the next space not having to worry about your old leases. >> this time around, john wanted to create the perfect office. so he and his landlord did some negotiating. he took a longer lease in exchange for a tenant improvement allowance which means the landlord helps pay for the cost to build out the space. >> this specific details of it, put us into a position where we can grow for three to five years and feel like the landlord helped us do so in the new space by setting us up with nice buildout and putting us in a place where we can grow and
expand within the same floor. >> with the hammer still swinging, john gave us a sneak peek at his new office under construction around the corner. >> welcome. >> this is great. >> beautiful, beautiful setup, great entryway. super exciting for an upgrade. >> john's two priorities for the new space, room to grow and a great customer experience are realized. >> welcome to the new space. >> this is great. it's big! >> it's massive. the elevator exits right off the space, a nice change in scenery to what you saw at the old space. you're walking into an all showroom floor setup here with a big retail experience. we've essentially taken the old retail floor and tripled the size. >> after seeing offices all over town with different priorities and budgets, it was interesting to end the day witnessing the life cycle of not standard growing out of one space and into another. >> how excited are you to be in one space now instead of four
spaces? >> if i'm excited, our staff is ecstatic. ♪ >> as we just saw, space is incredibly important. that's particularly true when it comes to a brick and mortar retail store. it is so easy to buy things online these days that your shop needs to have a little something extra to get people through the door. the owners of los angeles based paceto figured out the trick. they sell items you can't find anywhere else. they've turned their store into a true experience. ♪ >> when ted vatican and angie young collected a small collection of vinyl wallets on a whim, they never imagined this would evolve into a leading lifestyle brand known throughout the world. back in 2003, the husband and wife team became known for organizing hip little art shows during their down time. the stylish duo loved exposing
their inner circle to the emerging talent around them. >> none of the artwork was selling because none of us could afford it. we're all poor. we thought why not make something affordable that everyone needs. >> ted and angie collaborated with a handful of local artists to design a line of limited edition wallets to sell at one of their events. >> people loved what we were doing. the wallets sold out that night. >> with art for your every day motto at the core, the couple lodged poketo, it sells both their original creations and other design driven pieces with the similar aesthetic, all at affordable prices. p 0. keto has always celebrated the visionaries behind the products. >> there was always a bio associated with the artist and to give exposure to artists and designers that wouldn't normally get expose you're. it adds life to what you're
bringing home. >> over the past decade, poketo has gone from an upstart to a booming business with a robust community of die-hard fans that grows by the day. big name brands like nike and target have embraced poketo's flavorful fare, seizing opportunities to partner up. >> that's a special thing about poketo, it somehow was able to walk a line of being mainstream and niche. >> from day one, they've understood the importance of creating memorable experiences for their customers. from pop-up shops to art shows across the globe, their standout events allow their loyal following to engage with the brand on a deeper, more meaningful level. >> we never had a home for any of these events. >> in 2012 ted and angie opened up poketo's flagship shop and gallery. it houses a retail store,
creative offices and a transformative space dedicated to special events, from condiments and calligraphy. it's become a celebrated community staple for the brand. >> we're not just here to sell things to them. we're here to provide a whole different set of creative outlets. >> ted and angie's ability to creatively and authentically connect with their community has taken poketo beyond their wildest dreams. they recently opened a second brick and mortar in l.a.'s korea town at the line hotel. this past summer the pair partnered with nordstrom's to create eight pop-ins throughout the country. >> the best compliment is when people say i'm so inspired by what you do. you push me to make this or do that. it's the great thing that poketo can touch people in that way and
really have that experience beyond, you know, just buying a product. i know that we talk so much about social, but i don't watch the to discount the importance of e-mail. e-mails evolved in big ways thanks to a growing focus on mobile and a greater integration of social. so we turned to the startup mag.com to give us five ways to make the most of our digital correspondence. >> make your contact list a database of information. two, get real time notifications. a chrome extension like side kick can alert you when your e-mails have been opened. then you can gauge when to check back in or figure out if reaching out a different way would be more effective.
three, capture more e-mail addresses with the help of sumo.me. this service collects new contacts to add to your list through built-in pop-ups through your website. four, automation. have prebuilt e-mails sent out based on user behavior on your app or website with the help of companies like fend with us and mail jet. communicating at a specific time and in a particular way will help you convert more of those people into customers. five, don't underestimate a transactional e-mail. personalized offers can entice past clients to make repeat purchases or share something with their friends. when it comes to building our teams, i think all or at least most of us, go into the process thinking we're looking for the best people and assuming that once they're in our companies we're cultivating their talent. the truth is, so many small business owners are doing it wrong and their companies are suffering as a result. sydney finklestein has spent
time researching this issue. he's a professor at dartmouth college's tuck school of business. he recently launched the book "superbosses," how exceptional leaders master the flow of talent. dr. sid, nice to see you. thank you for coming on the program. >> great to be on, jj. >> this is probably the most importantly thing you can do for your company, hiring people and keeping them. i think too many of us don't think of it as a real business practice. >> it absolutely is. it's got to start with the interviewing process. take advantage, look for the best people. so many people say hire people smarter than you. have the guts to do that and when you interview someone, know how to dig into it and ask the types of questions that will give you meaning and ideas. ask about specific things they'll be doing on the job to see how they think, react. >> i want to go into that for one second. how specific can you be about your company? how much can you assume this person knows about your company. >> number one, you want someone
who did research ahead of time. it shows they're interested. number two, it's too costly to make a bad hire. let's test them out and kick the tires on it. >> one of my favorites questions is, what are the top five things you're going to do your first month here. that gets somebody thinking. granted, they might be wrong. at least it helps me understand they have started thinking about what they're doing to do. >> you need people who can think. you want them to come up with stuff you haven't thought of. >> a lot of us feel when you lose people, it's quite disruptive. >> yes, yes. you want to lose the best talent. the reality is, the best talent will do their own thing. they might want to start their own company or have your job, who knows. give them an opportunity to excel. as a result you do much better and don't worry about it so
much. we can get hung up with that. >> how do you deal with it? if all of your employees are there, they suddenly see people going out the door, one reaction is, this isn't a great place to work. >> people are moving on to bigger and better things. good people start to seek you out. >> how do you say good-bye to people who leave? >> you say thank you to start. >> okay. >> the last thing you want to do is say you've been disloyal and i don't want anything to do with you. the reality is, that network you're developing afterwards could be so valuable because i've had examples of people come back to get rehired. there's a business opportunity you could look for. there's so many different ways in which you can continue to do business. why wouldn't you want to do that? >> let's move on. use yourself confidence to delegate more. it is one of the number one issues, particularly with founders, right? they just hold on tight. >> yes, i mean, it's tough.
you've built it, you've created the whole thing. >> you know everything that's right. >> that's a dangerous thing in and of itself. the key to being a successful manager, that's what you have to be once you're past a startup company, you have to hire great, delegate and give them an opportunity to create value. you have to be self-confident. you have to feel lake they're not going to eclipse you. this is maybe the most important thing. you have to trust them. that's the thing i find time and time again trips up people. so many people tell me they're overwork, they're burned out. they can't handle it. why not? they're not delegating because they don't trust those other people. >> dr. sid, again, thank you. we cannot stress how important a team is. it's the difference between a successful company and not successful one. >> thank you, jj. >> thank you. today's elevator pitcher wanted to teach her children the importance of being charitable. and so she developed a product that she believes does the
trick. let's see what our judges think. alicia serrette is here with us as well as another guest. >> hello. my name is lilja. i'm the founder of little loving hands. a monthly subscription business providing kids crafts for a cause. i wasn't able to find any volunteer opportunities for their age. so i created little loving hands. every month we spotlight a different charity and we provide kids with all the materials they need to learn who they're helping and to create a craft that is sent back to that charity. since launch, we have shipped over 1,000 boxes and have hundreds of kids around the country creating beautiful crafts that are sent to help the elderly, the homeless and sick children. right now i'm doing this all by myself. a $50,000 investment would be helpful so i can focus on strategic efforts to grow the
business and acquire more customers. the kids craft business is a billion dollar industry. but there's nothing like little loving hands that provides an activity to teach about kindness and empathy. will you join me in teaching and showing that the littlest people can have the biggest hearts? >> thank you so much for your pitch. how much are you looking for? >> $50,000. >> okay. i'm going to give both of you these. two numbers. the first one, what do you think of the product, number two, what do you think of the pitch? you have tapped into something clearly parents are thinking about right now. the idea is incredibly smart. that's my opinion. let's get the panel's opinion. >> i gave the product a 7. it's clear you felt a personal pain point and there was a real need for this and you understand this deeply. i really like the idea of what you're doing and it sounds like there's traction to date. i gave the pitch a 7 because i felt like there was a lot of really great information in
terms of your ask and some of the milestones you've reached and the market size. but i probably would have wanted to hear more about what you're using the money for. and how you're defending yourself against competition. 7 and 7. >> great. >> that's great feedback. this is what alicia does for a living. >> i gave your product a 9 and i gave your pitch an 8. on the product side, i have a 4 1/2-year-old daughter who loves arts and crafts. she'd be obsessed with this. as a dad i want my kids to learn how to do well. from a pitch perspective, sometimes when you deal with charity and capitalism, it's like oil and water. somehow if you can bridge the gap and give an investor the context of how to relate that to other businesses that have succeeded there, that would be helpful. for example, tom's for the shoes and state bags is another examp example. if you can weave that into your pitch, you can bridge the gap and give context to your opportunity. >> that's great feedback.
ultimately, an investor is not investing in a cause. that would be a particular case. they also want to make money. great feedback. thank you. good luck with everything. >> thank you so much. if you have a product to pitch, send is an e-mail at email@example.com. include a short summary, what your company does, how much money you would like to raise and what you're going to do with that money. we tacking the question how much will it cost to start up a new business? and the difference between pitching a product to customers and pitching your company to potential funders. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us.
we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. amex helped me buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at open.com arlene writes how does one come up with startup costs for starting a business? >> so good news, arlene. it's never been cheaper or easier to start a business. in fact, a lot of the basic tools you need to start a business, whether it's creating e-mail accounts or marketing on social media or creating a website are basically free. so that may even allow you to start a business without raising any capital at all and just basically boot strapping it. if you need to raise money, the
best way to do it is talk to banks and see if you can get debt. if not, consider venture capital, talk to people you know raising capital from ampgs or even consider crowd funding. if you think about those tools and then you consider how much money you need, you may find you can raise very little capital to get started. that's the good thing. the minute you raise capital you have a boss. you want to make sure you maintain as much control as possible. we now have the top two tips you need to know to help your small business grow. alicia and scott are back with us to give their advice. okay. you gave great advice over there in the elevator. let's hear something for our audience. >> know the difference between a product pitch and an investment pitch. >> yes. i cannot agree with you more. >> huge. right? the product pitch is talking about the details of the product, the technology, the add-ones, et cetera. the investment teach, i.e., a pitch to investors for funding
really has to focus on the business holistically. it has to include the product, the team, the market size, the competitive land escape, what you're asking for in terms of funding, where that funding will go, how you're reaching customers. if you're giving a product pitch to an investor and they're looking for the whole view of the business, then you're probably missing out on an opportunity to really connect with them and get funding that could grow your business. >> absolutely. if you're speaking to a potential partner, it's a different pitch as well. >> exactly. >> put yourself in the shoes of the person you're talking to. >> exactly. >> such a good point. you're up. >> my top tip is find the white space and go after it. so the marketplace is so super competitive and the barriers to entry in almost any product or service is really low. if you take a look at what you're doing and look at the market and you see what you have that your competition doesn't have, it gives you an opportunity to hone in on what you should focus on and what you
can own and make your own. so from there you can build a defensible position in the market and actually that informs your product development, informs your marketing, informs everything you do as a company and gives you a clear path in the industry that no one else can copy. >> assuming what you have is something that customers want, right? >> absolutely. >> the only thing you have to be careful there is i have this one feature but there may be a reason none of your competitors have that feature. right? might be that nobody wants it. >> and one feature may not be enough. it has to be a deck stacked high of things that you bring to the table that no one else can bring. it has to start with something that's unique and special in the first place. so good to see you both. this week's your biz selfie comes from john larkin who owns electronic systems consultants in columbus, ohio. they install and maintain fire and security systems. thank you so much, john, for sending that in. want to see your company on the show? pick up your cell phone and take
a selfie of you and your business. no professional shots. we want selfies. send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. thank you so much for joining us today. here's what i learned. leases are negotiable. so the more you know about the market, and the more you understand what your must-haves are versus your like to haves, the better you'll do through the process. it's hard. the whole process is hard but you really need to have knowledge in order to go in this correctly. we'd love to hear from you. if you have any questions or comments about today's show, just e-mail us at email@example.com. you can also go to our website, openforum.com/yourbusiness. we posted all the segments from today's show plus a lot more. don't forget to connect with us on digital and social media platforms, too. next week, we find out how one company turn their entire
staff into a team, so loyal that they put the survival of the company and each other ahead of their own interests. >> i still get a little teary when i think of it. people came to me that knew other people couldn't afford that cut and said, take more of my salary. people were grateful for their jobs. >> we look at open book management, a controversial management tool that works but it may not be for everyone. until then, i'm jj ramberg and remember, we make your business our business. brought to you by american express open. visit openforum.com for ideas to help you grow your business. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express
to help me buy those building materials. amex helpeme buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growthresents itself? realize your buying power at open.com happy weekend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. happy friday. i will say this is going to be an interesting kind of a fun interesting/disturbing show. a lot of weird stuff happened in the the news. it's pen an intense week. one of those friday nights that felt like it took about 16 days to get to the end of the week. right. it feels like it's the 45th of may at this point. in the news business, it sometimes feels like that when the news cycle gets stuck on one story. this week the political news cycle got stuck on one news story about the